Rainy quite heavy outside……delayed morning walk for David and a sleep in for me. We walk from church to church making sure the more significant ones are covered today. We have realized that 2 of our 4 mobile phones have no more SIM card left……we need to find the TIM store straight away or can we just wait until we head home tomorrow and put our Telstra SIMS back once we are back in Australia.
First church was La Magione where restorations have revealed the ancient structure of the 1191 Norman church. Very simple inside with gothic columns. We continue our church journey through the historic centre of Palermo dodging scooters, cars and dog poos…..oh yeah and puddles today. Next we are at Piazza Bellini to see Santa Caterina. Lucky as it was 12.50pm and it closes at 1.30pm. The whole of Sicily closes between 1pm and 4pm. We creep past 2 vagrant dogs sleeping on the church steps…..didn’t even stir. They are obviously not the church guard dogs. We pay our 2 euro each to enter. Started in 1566. The over the top decorations are 17th and 18th century. This church is a great example of Palermitan Baroque with it’s sculptures, marble inlays and ceiling frescoes. It is quite over the top ornate. It has the most gorgeous red twisted columns at the back holding up the choir area. Kate and Thomas sat and prayed while we took as many photo opportunities as possible.
We continue through the Piazza admiring Chiesa di Cataldo recognizable by the 3 Arab red domes dating back to 1100 and next door to La Martorana. Both were closed but we enjoyed their exteriors. A woman in a wheelchair was collecting entry money. On closer observation we saw there was no way to get up to the church but via a flight of steps and the church appeared closed. How did she get there for a start?
We found Chiesa del Gesu a Baroque church…..again closed.
Time to find a TIM store to sort out our phones and some lunch. We see an Anglican church along the way. First non Catholic church I have seen in Italy so far. We realized the lunch time was drawing to a close so we stopped at a place that appeared to serve pizza. Not a good move after having having pizza in Naples. At first the waitress said they did not serve Liz at lunch. Just as we were about to leave they decided to make them for us. We were served some great aubergine balls which were great. Alas the pizza did not live up to our expectations. We wait forever for it…..maybe it was frozen and they made us wait to give the illusion of firing up the wood oven! Oh well maybe some cannoli on the way back. The TIM store is closed so we head back to the hotel.
Time to relax a bit…..siesta….packing and trying to evenly distribute the weight into 4 suitcases.